Nova Scotia

Two Cape Bretoners combine love of Jeeps and Jurassic Park

Brendon Clarke and John Fraser have rebuilt their 1992 Jeep Wranglers to look like two of the vehicles from Jurassic Park, the iconic 1993 film.

'I try not to let fear or common sense hold me back when I do things,' says John Fraser

John Fraser of Bras d'Or, N.S., and Brendon Clarke of North Sydney, N.S., have both rebuilt their 1992 Jeep Wranglers to look like those in the 1993 film Jurassic Park. (Brittany Wentzell/CBC)

When Jurassic Park hit the silver screen in 1993, it made a big impression on audiences, and for some fans the film never really left their minds.

That's certainly the case for Cape Breton residents Brendon Clarke and John Fraser. In the span of about a year, the men outfitted their 1992 Jeep Wranglers, transforming them into two of the iconic Jeeps seen in Jurassic Park. 

"I've always wanted a Jeep YJ to begin with, my grandfather used to have one … and [Jurassic Park] was one of my favourite movies," said Clarke, who is from North Sydney.

Clarke bought his Jeep in June 2017 and finished making it over a year later.

Fraser and Clarke pose next to their 1992 Jeep Wranglers. (Brittany Wentzell/CBC)

Fraser traded his motorcycle for a Jeep after getting in an accident. He bought his Jeep in 2015 and finished working on it about a year later.

Jurassic Park is close to his heart.

"I was three years old when [Jurassic Park] first came out and my parents took me to see if four times and I cried every time … but I begged them to keep taking me back," said Fraser, who lives in Bras d'Or.

Neither Clarke nor Fraser knew one another before starting to rebuild the Jeeps. The two got in touch after Fraser started seeing Clarke post online in search for parts.

But they're not the only ones who have a love for Jurassic Park vehicles. 

An international group of enthusiasts called the Jurassic Park Motor Pool helps fans connect and rebuild their vehicles to look like they're from the movie. Those vehicles include Ford Escapes, Jeeps, two styles of Mercedes, and the Triumph Scrambler motorcycle ridden by the actor Chris Pratt in Jurassic World.

The inside of Fraser's Jeep. Fraser carries Jurassic Park books, a replica unfertilized ostrich egg, and Barbasol for storing dinosaur embryos. (Brittany Wentzell/CBC)

Although the two men haven't gotten a chance to meet others involved in rebuilding Jurassic Park vehicles, the community has been useful.

"It's a lot easier to build them when you have people to help you along the way," said Clarke.

Creating the look from the movie involved finding screen-accurate seats, winches, storage boxes, and, of course, painting the iconic logo onto the sides of the vehicles.

The Jeeps attract a lot of attention, especially because both men carry props from the movie, including an unfertilized ostrich egg replica, Barbasol shaving cream for hiding dinosaur embryos, and a fake shotgun to match that of resident gamekeeper Robert Muldoon.

Both Clarke and Fraser also carry sounds and music from the film, which Fraser said he likes to crank up when children start to stare at the vehicle.

"I always get a kick out of watching kids because they just get wide-eyed right away," said Fraser.

Clarke's Jeep includes some of the gear from Jurassic Park's gamekeeper, such as a replica shotgun. (Brittany Wentzell/CBC)

Clark also enjoys seeing people's reactions. He often takes interested people out for a spin so they can get the full experience.

Rebuilding the Jeeps has been a costly venture. Fraser said it's run him about $13,000. 

"I try not to let fear or common sense hold me back when I do things," he said.

When asked what he spent on his Jeep, Clarke laughed. "Too much."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brittany Wentzell

Current Affairs Reporter/Editor

Brittany Wentzell is based in Sydney, N.S., as a reporter for Information Morning Cape Breton. She has covered a wide range of issues including education, forestry and municipal government. Story ideas? Send them to brittany.wentzell@cbc.ca

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